Author Topic: Forensic medicine  (Read 1000 times)

Offline Apollonia

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Forensic medicine
« on: November 06, 2014, 08:57:33 AM »
I just read this article: http://www.vox.com/2014/10/28/7078151/body-farm-texas-freeman-ranch-decay

(Graphic images!)

Did you know that this is going on in America? I've never seen anything like it. I know their intention is good, i.e. doing their utmost to identify a body and bring it back to the family as fast as possible to help them in their grieving process. But what about the means? Body farms?? I've never heard of anything so morbid and disgusting.
Ofcourse they get a lot of knowledge from this, but at what cost, and would it be sinful to acquire this knowledge through reading about it?
 

Offline Lydia Purpuraria

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Re: Forensic medicine
« Reply #1 on: November 06, 2014, 09:14:06 AM »
I went to school in Tennessee where they have a body farm for their forensics department http://fac.utk.edu/.  I was under the impression that people would actually donate their bodies to it and then after a period of time the bodies were buried.  Honestly, at the time (17+ years ago) I didn't give it too much thought other than it was kind of gross; but I figured it helped out in criminal investigations when they have found a decomposing body (and this is how they can more accurately get the information to put into books). 

I wonder what the Church teaches on this - especially in cases where people willingly donate their own bodies?

edit to add:  I was looking through UT's site and it isn't really clear to me what they do with the remains, ultimately- if they end up buried or just "inventoried" in some manner. hmmm.  I wonder how this compares to medical schools where medical students will dissect human bodies to learn about the body and so on.  What happens to those remains?  Sorry, that may be a bit off your topic.

« Last Edit: November 06, 2014, 09:24:19 AM by Lydia Purpuraria »
 

Offline Apollonia

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Re: Forensic medicine
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2014, 09:35:09 AM »
Yes, I'm also interested in what the Church teaches about this, and also to the handling of bodies in med school. If I learn this knowledge that spun out of these vile practices, is that knowledge sinful for me to acquire? I wish there were some Catholic guidelines..

I think they mentioned in the article that they clean the bones and put them in inventories, so there is no burial. Those people who donate usually don't have enough money to get a burial :(
 

Offline Daniel

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Re: Forensic medicine
« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2014, 07:02:08 AM »
If I learn this knowledge that spun out of these vile practices, is that knowledge sinful for me to acquire? I wish there were some Catholic guidelines..
Without really thinking about it, I would guess that it is not sinful to acquire knowledge from other people who obtained it by sinning, as long as we personally don't engage in the sin or approve of it.  Because it's basically a case of directing somebody else's evil toward a good (assuming the knowledge you acquire is actually useful knowledge and not just trivia).
edit - On second thought, even trivial knowledge acquired in this way is probably not sinful as long as you don't seek it out while approving of how it was initially obtained.  Knowledge is knowledge and we really can't control how the people who teach it went about discovering it or learning it in the first place.  But again, I could be wrong.
« Last Edit: November 12, 2014, 07:06:01 AM by Daniel »
 

Offline dymphnaw

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Re: Forensic medicine
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2014, 03:48:37 PM »
Dead things rot. There's nothing morbid about that. Thanks to body farms we can tell how long someone had nrrn dead and pinpoint when they muslt have been murdered. If you spend time in s hospital or take care of a sick person you quickly discover that the human body produces a whole lot grossness dead or alive.